Community transmission from cyclone shelters of Barishal Division feared

Community transmission from cyclone shelters of Barishal Division feared

Our Correspondent. Barishal

May 23, 2020

At the time of spreading corona pandemic, the people of the country also experienced devastating super-cyclone ‘Amphan’.

After the affect of Amphan, now the review has been started about its long term affect or loss.

But the issue community transmission from cyclone shelters of Barishal Division has been feared as social distance was not maintained there.

 Experts who are working in health sector they are thinking that probably community transmission of Covid-19 virus may spreading during sheltering in the cyclone shelter.

 According to Barishal divisional commissioner’s office 15 lakhs 49 thousand people have taken shelter in 4896 shelters in Barisal division during super cyclone Amphan.

 At least 316 have taken in cyclone shelter in average and almost no health rules and social distance had maintained, after talking who were in cyclone shelter.

As a result, it is more danger than damages of Amphan because of not maintaining social distance.

According to the control room of the Barisal divisional commissioner’s office, this time numbers of more than double cyclone shelters were arranged for sheltered people.

But it became very tough to enforce social distancing among the sheltered distressed people during such natural calamity, said Yamin Chowdhury, divisional commissioner of Barishal division.

Abu Taher, a resident of Dhalchar in Bhola district, said they were carrying 150/200 people in a trawler to way to shelter. But after reaching there we did not received any soap or sanitizer.

After visiting some of the shelters, it was seen that some people sheltered at the cyclone center were crowding and playing and enjoying `Snake-Ludu’ (Sap-Ludu).

 Although many people did not took shelter at the cyclone centers cum schools at Monpura till Wednesday afternoon, but rushed to the cyclone center after storm started to hit at evening. As a result, those cyclone shelters have become one of the centers of community transmission, according to Dr. Sudip Haldar, president of indoor doctors association at SBMCH working with Corona.

Barisal divisional health director Dr. Basudev Kumar Das said, we were continuing propagation to ensure health rules including maintaining social distancing at cyclone centers.

At least 418 medical team were formed to serve medical facilities during hit of cyclone ‘Amphan’. We are now most concerned about preventing community transmission in the cyclone shelter, divisional health director added.

Masud Alam Siddiki, deputy commissioner Bhola district, said  district administration of Bhola have sent trawlers to evacuate 40,000 people from 21 chars of the district and brought them to the shelter. But we have to use force to bring people to the cyclone shelter in many areas.

In some cases, local administrations have called local NGOs to provide health care equipments, but received little support. When it was a challenge for thousands of coastal residents to come to these shelters, it was difficult to follow the rules of health hygiene in all spheres, DC of Bhola added.

Rahima Sultana Kajal, executive director of NGO AVAS in Barisal, said she provided soap and sanitizer at 26 shelters at the request of the deputy commissioner of Barishal.

Anwar Zahid, one health activist of Barishal, said community transmission into shelters is now a deep concern. ##